Asian nations meet to discuss Rohingya migrant crisis

Updated: 2015-05-29 10:08


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Asian nations meet to discuss Rohingya migrant crisis

Myanmar government officials and UN officials stand on a boat used for human trafficking at a jetty outside Sittwe, Myanmar May 23, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

Human rights groups have urged those involved in the talks to find a better way of saving the people still stranded at sea, and to put pressure on Myanmar to end its repressive policies that drive Rohingya to flee.

Swing said a long-term, comprehensive policy has to be put together, and that no single element by itself is going to solve the issue. But he said Myanmar was a key.

"I think Myanmar has to be engaged in any solution involving any of the groups, absolutely," he said.

Malaysia and Indonesia agreed last week to provide the migrants with one-year shelter. Indonesia says Rohingya can stay for a year while Bangladeshis will be repatriated. It is unclear what happens after a year, and both countries have called on the international community to help with resettlement options.

Thailand has offered humanitarian help but not shelter. More than 100,000 refugees, mostly from Myanmar's other ethnic groups, have been living in border camps for decades, and Thailand says it cannot afford any more.

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